Hooker is set to shine for New Castle this winter

The 'Canes must replace 4 of their top 5 scorers from last year.

New Castle Hurricanes High School Basketball - New Castle, PA

2017-18 New Castle Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Ralph Blundo
Record: 25-3 (13-1), 1st place in Section 2

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
Senior Marcus Hooker will be back in the fold after accumulating a stat line of 14.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.3 steals while shooting 51.4% from the field (169-329). Hooker finished with 10 double-doubles including an outing which saw Marcus compile 10 points and 19 rebounds in a game versus Central Valley played in December. “Marcus is one of the best athletes in the state,” says coach Ralph Blundo. “He’s one of our tough, athletic kids who believe in what we do here.” Hooker’s classmate Lorenzo Gardner scored 3.7 points, dished out 2.4 assists, and hauled down 1.6 boards as he connected 50.0% from the floor (37-74). Blundo hopes to get Gardner back sometime after the holiday due to an injury. Carrington Smith, brother of former 3-year starter Antonio Rudolph, will receive opportunities on the varsity level this year. Last year, Smith connected on 5 of 11 three-pointers (45.5%) in 10 contests.

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 12 – at Hampton, 7:30
Dec. 15 – Central Valley, 7:30
Dec. 16 – Lincoln Park
Dec. 19 – at Quaker valley, 7:30
Dec. 22 – Blackhawk – 7:30
Jan. 5 – Hopewell, 7:30
Jan. 9 – at Ambridge, 7:30
Jan. 12 – Beaver, 7:30
Jan. 16 – at Beaver Falls, 7:30
Jan. 19 – at Central Valley, 7:30
Jan. 23 – Quaker Valley, 7:30
Jan. 26 – at Blackhawk, 7:30
Jan. 27 – at Farrell
Jan. 30 – at Hopewell, 7:30
Feb. 2 – Ambridge, 7:30
Feb. 6 – at Beaver, 7:30
Feb. 9 – Beaver Falls, 7:30
Feb. 12 – Peters Township, 7:30

Challenges
The Hurricanes lost a ton in the form of Geno Stone, Gino DeMonaco, Te’Quawn Stewart and Garrett Farah. Stone led New Castle in scoring with a 16.7 average while also handing out 4.9 assists and grabbing 4.1 caroms. The Iowa Hawkeye sunk 38.1% from three-point range (91-239) as he also was golden from the foul line where he put 78.0% of his charity attempts in (46-59). DeMonaco led the ‘Canes in three-point percentage with an unbelievable 49.4% (76-154). He made 7 three-pointers in a single game twice last year. He closed out his senior year with a 12.0 scoring average. Stewart came up big for New Castle as well as he averaged 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds to go along with his field goal percentage of 68.5% (89-130). Farah distributed 5.1 assists per game. Garrett scored 6.5 per outing as well. “Although we’ll be playing a lot of seniors,” indicates coach Blundo. “We’ll be very inexperienced this season.”

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 78.1% (210-59)
Section Championships: 7 (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
Playoff Record: 39-10
WPIAL Championships: 4 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2017)
State Championships: 1 (2014)

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 65.3
Scoring Defense: 48.3
Rebounding: 27.9
Field Goal Percentage: 49.1%
Three-Point Percentage: 37.6%
Free Throw Percentage: 63.6%

2016-17 Results
Strong Vincent 68 Hurricanes 43*
Hurricanes 62 Ambridge 36*
Hurricanes 72 Sharon 38*
Hurricanes 73 Quaker Valley 58*
Hurricanes 61 Central Valley 33*
Hurricanes 73 McGuffey 40*
Hurricanes 54 Moon 48
Hurricanes 56 Beaver Falls 52
Hurricanes 71 Beaver 53
Hurricanes 55 Ambridge 39
Hurricanes 78 Hopewell 37
Hurricanes 53 Blackhawk 46
Quaker Valley 60 Hurricanes 54
Hurricanes 41 Allderdice 40
Hurricanes 63 Central Valley 39
Hurricanes 66 Beaver Falls 61
Hurricanes 62 Beaver 51
Hurricanes 82 Ambridge 46
Hurricanes 71 Aliquippa 47
Hurricanes 82 Hopewell 47
Hurricanes 61 Blackhawk 44
Penn Hills 73 Hurricanes 65
Hurricanes 79 Valley 38
Hurricanes 54 Quaker Valley 53
Hurricanes 63 Central Valley 49
Hurricanes 82 Hampton 60
Hurricanes 87 St. Mary’s (MD) 58
Hurricanes 65 West Middlesex 39
*-Post-Season

Key Number
Over the last seven seasons, New Castle has won 6 league championships and 4 WPIAL Championships. Not to mention, the Hurricanes have won 179 games and have compiled a winning percentage of 89.1%.

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